This has been my first summer making jam, and after jam that I thought was a little too sweet (Serviceberry) and jam that just wasn’t quite right (apricot), this third jam I am really pleased with.
We have a funny plum tree in our front garden. There are 3 varieties of plum grafted onto a single rootstock. The Italian prune is easy to identify, and they aren’t quite ripe yet…but when they are, they’re slotted for some plum cake! The other two varieties I am not sure of…mainly because the tags aren’t on fruiting branches…or branches that even have leaves. One is a Satsuma plum and the other is a Santa Rosa plum, and oddly enough when I googled them they both sort of looked like the plum I used for this jam, and the third plum on the tree looks nothing like either, so I am no further ahead.
The blackberries come from a blackberry bush that I think is technically our neighbour’s but is more or less growing in both our gardens. She is happy to let us pick on both sides though, which is wonderful!
This is what the mystery plum looks like when polished. Why polished? Simply because that is what 3 1/2 year olds do.
Anyone want to venture a guess as to what my mystery plum is?
This jam is a combination of two “long boil” recipes without pectin found in the Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving that I borrowed from my sister. Conveniently there was a recipe for plum jam and one for berry jam. The plum recipe called for 4 lbs of plums. That’s a lot of wee plums to “de-stone”. I ended up with about 8 cups of chopped plums which was about 3 lbs. To that I added about 1 1/4 cups of blackberries, 4 cups of sugar, and 3 and a bit tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Although the recipe said the cook time was only 20 minutes, I think I cooked the jam for about 40 minutes before I felt that it was proper jam consistency…and even still I wouldn’t call it firm by any stretch. But very, very tasty.
Three jars didn’t seal properly. I’m not entirely sure why, as I tried to make sure I left just the right amount of headroom. But they were given away to be eaten right away. Three jars did seal and they are on the shelf next to raspberry jam, and a little extra is in the fridge to be eaten now.
Next up…apple sauce?
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Spool & Spindle
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